Troubleshooting Common Forklift Problems

Forklifts are an indispensable tool for many businesses, from warehouses to construction sites. With the machinery being used day in, day out, it is vital that they are kept well-maintained but, inevitably, due to age and heavy usage, problems are bound to arise at some point down the line.

Thorough forklift training can help to ensure that operators can spot the warning signs of an issue early on so it can be tackled quickly. There can be many potential problems you may experience with forklifts, but we’ve put together some of the more common issues and how to handle them to help you keep operations as efficient as possible.


Lift issues

Lift issues where the forklift forks will not raise or lower properly will hamper your ability to move goods effectively. Often, problems with the movement of the forks have their origins in the mast and indicate that there is something wrong with the hydraulic system. Check that there isn’t anything clogging the lift system and that fluid levels aren’t running low. If your forklift is electric, it may be a case of worn wiring. If none of these seem to be the source of the problem, get in touch with an engineer to troubleshoot the issue.


Electric forklift struggles to start

If your electric forklift won’t start or is struggling to start, it is likely your battery is in need of replacement. Further signs that you could have a worn out battery include problems with any other electrical components of the forklift. If this is the case, a new battery will be what you need to return your forklift to full functionality. These are expensive though, so it is worth caring for your battery according to best practice to extend its useful life.


New forklift battery isn’t providing good power

If you have gotten a new forklift battery but are still experiencing power issues, it could be because the one you have fitted is wrong somehow. If you have a battery which is the wrong size, this will create power problems. Furthermore, if you have a battery which is the right size but designed for a different model of forklift, this could lead to connection misalignment and, therefore, weak power.


Worn tyres

Just like with a standard car, worn tyres can be problematic and dangerous for a forklift. Worn tyres will have a negative effect on the handling of the forklift and can decrease grip. As well as affecting performance, both of these factors increase the likelihood of an accident so it’s important you keep an eye on your tyres, changing them out before they become dangerous.


Difficulties steering

Problems with steering can be very dangerous when operating heavy machinery such as a forklift. What’s more, warning signs can be minimal and hard to spot before they develop into problematic unresponsive steering. Keeping the system lubricated by topping up the steering fluid levels is a simple but important maintenance activity. Should your problems persist with good fluid levels, the problem could originate from a number of sources – from loose valves and worn gears to misaligned tyres – and it’s best to get a professional engineer to identify and fix the issue.


Euro 1 Training offer thorough plant machinery training courses to clients in Sheffield, Wakefield, Goole and the surrounding areas. From forklifts to HGVs, our accredited courses will set you up to become a competent operator. As well as learning practical operating skills and health and safety fundamentals, trainees will learn how to inspect their machine and about its components, ensuring that potential problems can be identified and dealt with quickly and effectively. Get in touch with our specialists today with any enquiries regarding our courses.